Successful people don’t do different things; they do things differently.
If you read business books, you must have come across this sentence.
All of us have successful people around us. Not just in business, but there are successful people in every walk and stage of life.
There are successful students, successful sportspersons, successful leaders and successful business people.
The bigger question is that why some people are more successful than others.
As an example, if you want to be a successful runner, you will have to undergo lots of physical training, often years of hard work, to reach a specific position.
Any healthy person can run. Then why is it that only a very few undergo years of hard work and training to become a successful athlete?
What is that drives them to undergo all the grind?
I’ve read about being disciplined in life and how discipline is the most critical factor to achieve success.
So, is it only the discipline that makes a successful athlete?
If that was the case, all disciplined students should also be great athletes. However, that is not the case.
You will agree that there is something else that drives people to do things they do to become successful.
In case of athletes, it could be winning a medal for their country.
Agree, you need to have the talent, but a purpose is as much important as the talent.
Without a purpose, you don’t know why you are doing something.
Same happens in business too.
Successful businesses are driven not just by discipline and talent, but also by purpose.
So make no mistake, the purpose is never to make money.
Money is something you create in your zest to achieve a higher goal.
So concerning business, what is a brand strategy?
Identifying this higher goal and aligning every aspect of your business to achieve it is called brand strategy.
A good brand strategy should address customer needs, emotions and market conditions in a way that all of it aligns with its ultimate goal.
Here are the seven ways to create a brand strategy for your business.
1. Identify and define a purpose
There are always two purposes of doing business.
First is to make money and that is a priority because it is needed to pay bills, employee salaries, advertise, and who doesn’t like some profits.
The second purpose is to do good to someone or perhaps a section of society. This reason is more emotional and mentally satisfying.
While every business strives to make money, most of them are not aware or do not find time to address the second aspect.
However, it is the second aspect that creates a brand for your company.
Having a well-defined purpose keeps everyone’s aligned to work in that single direction. Vision and mission statements of companies define this purpose.
Many young businesses take the vision and mission statements to be fancy items learned in business schools. Fact is, they are not.
Not having a vision is like walking down the road without knowing where your destination is.
It is critical to define a purpose as that is what the brand strategy of a business is based around.
2. Be consistent
Now that you have identified the purpose, you need to be consistent in bringing up that purpose at all the right places.
You need to be consistent with your messaging across the media which includes your website, your social media pages, company press releases, tradeshows, and events.
Consistency again has two components.
i. What is the message?
ii. Who is delivering the message?
The message is your vision and mission statement and all the activities you do on the path to achieving that vision.
The communicator (your business) needs to be related and identified with the message.
Consistency in delivering the message includes colors, fonts, logo design and all related styling. All these things collectively come under a style guide.
A style guide brings consistency to the look and feel of your messaging, giving your audience a clue to remember your brand identity. The message itself gives them the reason to connect.
3. Balance emotions and rationale
In a practical world, people want to do what is best for them. From the perspective of a business, the customer wants to buy a good quality product at lowest possible prices.
If your business is struggling to provide good quality at lower prices, chances are you will find someone doing it better.
Bringing the prices down is not feasible beyond a point, and so it is not always a good strategy.
However rational people may get, they are always read to connect emotionally, provided a stimulus.
4. Be flexible
In point number 2, we discussed being consistent with how to deliver the message. However, brand identities also require variations with changing times and market dynamics.
It is critical for a business to be flexible to be able to respond to the changing times.
Look at any big brand that has been around for decades. You will see that they had to change their brand identity with changing times.
Changing the brand identity does not mean an absolute shift but a degree of variation to address the market situations.
5. Team effort
Creating and executing a brand strategy is a team effort. No organization can make it happen from the top level.
Execution of your brand strategy requires a whole lot of activities to be done on different fronts, internally and externally.
Involve your team members by educating them on the social stand of your organization. Stories help a lot in increasing such awareness amongst employees. It charges up the team, and they work passionately to achieve goals.
If you work alone, talk to your vendors and suppliers about your business philosophy. Treat them as a part of your team. Chances are they will respect your efforts, and you will get more support from them.
6. Reward Loyalty
The third and the most important face of your brand strategy is the customer. He is the one who gives money to run your business. It is crucial for you to involve your customer in your branding strategy.
Your customer is also the person who likes your brand. Customers show their love for a brand by being loyal and even recommending your brand to others. Don’t make it a one-sided relationship. Take a step forward and reward your loyal customers.
A business with loyal customers grows much faster as customers keep coming back to you.
7. Watch your competitors
You need to be aware of the branding strategy of your competitors. Your competition is always trying to lure your loyal customers by building an emotional connection with them.
By keeping a check on your competitors, you can make variances to your brand strategy and keep your business a level above your competitors.